The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago welcomed a new baby beluga whale this week.
The 4 1/2 foot long calf was born early Monday morning. Officials say that calf and its mother, Mauyak, who already has two calves, are both doing well.
Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and training at Shedd, said:
“We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of the Shedd Aquarium family. A newborn calf must reach several milestones in its first days and months so we remain cautious; however, the calf has demonstrated incredible progress … Mauyak is an experienced mom having given birth to two calves in the past, so the labor was quick and went very smoothly.”
The aquarium reports that the calf took its first breath and tried to nurse with its mother.
“In less than 24 hours after birth, the calf achieved the first critical milestones that we look for, including taking its first breath, bonding with mom and we’ve seen attempts at nursing … Shedd’s long history of research and care of these animals tells us that these initial behaviors indicate a strong calf; but we will continue to monitor for signs of development, including steady nursing and growth.”
According to the Associated Press, the baby beluga whale was born just three months after the Shedd Aquarium welcomed its first Pacific white-sided dolphin. The Shedd Aquarium has had six successful births since 1999.
Here’s a video of the baby beluga whale swimming with its mother at the Shedd Aquarium.